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If you are in Birmingham, AL and looking for a beginner or pro sax, go to Steve Collins was a repairman for years at a big store, only to become tired of kids "renting" or buying mediocre horns..."just good enough" to play. The corporate suits would not allow him to spend the time needed on the horns to make them right, so that they would play to their potential. The result is that kids struggle with making the horn sound good. Steve buys good used saxes and puts them in their best condition, then sells them for a very reasonable price. He has very low overhead. You can also take a horn to Steve that you already purchased, new or used, and he will make it right for you. Because they are mass produced, new horns rarely arrive playing like they should. I found out about Steve by asking pro players in town where I can take my horn for repair. I just wish I had found out about him before I bought my daughter a sax for band this year. I drove to Montgomery to a decent music shop because I did not want to be forced into whatever horn the Big Store wanted me to buy. Also, I wanted to purchase a used horn. I knew I would get more value buying a higher grade used horn. I was told that they did not have any used horns to sell because they are all "rentals". Of course, this means they are "renting" it to you, for a "financing type" price...then when your kid gives up band (probably because they had a crappy horn that didn't sound good), they will rent it to some other sucker. You can do so much better by getting a good used horn that Steve has tweaked, rather than paying a ton (even "renting") for a new (and most likely inferior) horn, which will immediately lose half of it's value, as soon as you buy it. Sorry, I will get off of the soap box now. I found out about Steve from asking some pros in town about reaping my own horn. He has made my old horn sound and play great. He is a player himself, so he performs a true "player's" test before he lets them go. No, I am not affiliated with him in any way, other than being a customer. He will probably never know I posted this. Like I said, just wish I had known about him earlier.
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